WHILE almost every athlete has been affected by the global shutdown of sport, it is perhaps the old and the young who are feeling it the most.

Those coming towards the end of their careers will be increasingly aware of time slipping away as they hope for one last hurrah before retirement.

For those just starting out, there will be a fidgety frustration at being temporarily halted just as a promising career path seemed to be stretching out in front of them.

Georgia Adderley falls into the latter camp. The Edinburgh squash player turned 19 in January, a milestone that officially ended her time in the junior ranks and catapulted her full-time into the seniors.

The University of Edinburgh student had already enjoyed a sporadic taste of what that would be like last year and had hoped that 2020 would see her push further up the world rankings. Having already broken into the top 100, the potential was undoubtedly there.

Instead, she is stuck at home like everyone else, playing 10-pin bowling on her new Nintendo Wii and trying to stay fit the best she can. One of her living room walls has been stripped of all photos so she and her dad Mark, the Scottish Squash president, can have a hit on a miniature makeshift court.

The time will eventually come for the world No.92 to re-join the tour and she is eager to pick up where she left off.

“It’s been really good making that step up,” she said. “I’ve really enjoyed it although it’s definitely been challenging.

“I’ve been going away to more tournaments and travelling further afield. That in itself is something you need to adapt to. But it’s been good. I’ve had a pretty decent season and managed to get into the top 100 in the world.

“That was a target that was in my mind even last season. So it was great to finally make the breakthrough. I was able to focus on achieving that this season and it feels like a bit of a landmark. It’s just another sign that you’re moving in the right direction.

“Hopefully once this is all out the way and we get back playing again I can kick on and look to move even further up the rankings.”

Transitioning to the senior game has also meant some more daunting tests on court, like a recent match-up with English world No.24, Emily Whitlock.

“I feel like I’ve had some decent results and played some really good players over the past year or so,” added Adderley. “I’ve faced a few top 50 players which has been pretty challenging. You definitely notice that wee bit extra in quality in the way they play the game.

“But I’ve learned a lot from those matches. I played Emily Whitlock in Edinburgh in January and that was an incredible experience. She’s a top player. And although she put me under a lot of pressure it felt good to be on court with her.”

The temporary pause on all sporting events has given her a chance to take a breather after juggling the demands of travelling the world to play sport with her sports science studies.

“I’m just about managing to balance everything although it can be a struggle at times. The uni have been great with me, though, and it’s just about trying to make sure you can find the time.

“Our exams have been cancelled but we still have our coursework. It’s important to keep your brain ticking over!”

“I love travelling anyway so that side of things hasn’t been too bad. I went to India in October and I loved the place. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea but I really liked getting to see a bit of that country.

“And I was in the States earlier this year too and that was a great experience too. I feel lucky that I’m doing something that – in normal circumstances – allows you to visit so many different places.”

Adderley has been an advocate of squash for as long as she has been playing the game and believes the future is looking bright.

“I’d like to think there are a few of us in both the men’s and the women’s game coming through now and pushing the more experienced ones a bit. We’d definitely back ourselves. Rory Stewart was playing some good squash before the break and is definitely up-and-coming.

“And we’ve got a few junior girls pushing through which is exciting, too. That can only be good news for squash in this country going forward.”